If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back? – Steven Wright
Now that the heat is apparently here to stay I figured I would share a few tips on how to not melt away instantly. Some of these are quite obvious but are still worth repeating.
Dress lightly and cover your head
If you can, pick out light dresses, skirts, and shorts. Prefer materials that breathe like cotton if you can, but when in doubt: gym clothes are a lifesaver. Hats and scarves will keep your head out of the sunlight as well. Scarves have the benefit that you can soak them in cold water for extra cooling effect. People really do not understand how important it is to keep your head covered. It made a HUGE difference for me as I suddenly stopped feeling nauseous all the time.
Drink. A lot.
This is also one of the obvious ones, but I still have a few things to add. Try to drink a little constantly and not a bunch at one time, first of all, but you should get at least a litre extra liquids in you on really hot days. Secondly: just plain water isn’t necessarily enough. I started to mix in a sport, recovery drink powder as it includes a lot of the things that you sweat out. This is another thing that made me feel so much better during the days. I am also drinking quite a bit of ice tea that I have made myself when I can. I have simply made myself a huge cup of herbal tea, let it cool, poured it into a bottle and put in the fridge overnight.
I absolutely, 100% recommend this. I am a person who has trouble with extreme temperatures (both warm and cold) as my body just refuses to cool itself down. So taking a cold shower helps me to adjust my own temperature for a little bit, especially before going to bed. It feels so refreshing, at least in the evening, and it makes falling asleep so much easier.
If you can get your hand son a fan or AC: Use it. AC is not a standard in Finnish apartments, not that they are usually needed either, and fans sell out VERY QUICKLY once it gets warm. We luckily found someone selling a ceiling fan identical to the one that broke during our move and it was the best deal we’ve ever gotten. A fan might not in itself cool down the apartment, but it makes the much more tolerable with the breeze it creates. It’s also what made our 30-degree celsius office tolerable again.
Eat lightly during the day
If you can’t eat much during the day, it’s perfectly fine. Eat when the day cools off. What is great to eat though is watermelons. There’s a lot of liquid in them as well as being cool and fresh out of the fridge. Listen to your body and if you feel hungry, congratulations. Eat. I have started having dinner a bit after around 8 or 9 o’clock in the evening for simplicity’s sake. Ice cream is also very much recommended in all of its forms.
Take it easy
If you have any heavy duty work to be done you can save it for later. Try to get things done early in the morning or really late if you have to, but taking a siesta in the middle of the day is perfectly fine. Stay in the shadow or inside away from the scorching sunlight always when you get the option. If you have to be outside, be EXTRA careful with keeping your head covered and staying hydrated.
Look after your friends
Do keep an eye out for friends and family as well. Children and the elderly are especially at risk of heat strokes as well, so make sure that everyone around you is fine. Also for the love of all that is good DO NOT leave pets in your car.